Higher education is a billion-dollar industry — with Virginia Tech and Radford University among the region’s major economic drivers.

So universities’ costs and governing decisions are on the minds of a few lawmakers as Virginia’s General Assembly on Friday wrapped up its final week to propose legislation this session.

Numerous bills dealing with higher education in 2020 revolve around transparency and accountability: from mandating disclosure of certain donors’ names and gifts, to requiring college governing boards to explain why tuition increases are needed.

“The movement towards transparency in higher education is widespread across the commonwealth and across the country,” said Benjamin Melusky, an assistant professor of political science at Old Dominion University.

Lawmakers are taking note

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